11 Healthy Reasons Why You Need a Better Blender
For those of us obsessed with upping our nutrient game to get the high quantities of fruits and veggies recommended daily, a blender is a must have. However, all blenders are not created equally. If you’ve ever tried to blend a carrot in a normal blender, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. That’s why we’re obsessed with Vitamix, a kitchen tool that goes beyond blending to turn any fruit or veggie into a liquid masterpiece — also see: more affordable competitors like Blendtec and the Ninja Ultima Pro. A powerful blender is an investment that’ll make a huge impact in your kitchen, and more importantly, your health. We’re sharing 11 reasons why you might fall in love with this magical machine.
1. Make Creamy Soups or Broths: Craving a creamy broccoli soup, but not in the mood to simmer all day? Simply add all your veggies to your high power blender, and the friction will actually heat up the contents by the time the blending process is complete. If you don’t want to go fully creamy with your soup, blend the veggies until fine and then add them to a pot with broth to help decrease cooking time. (Photo via Vitamix)
2. Your Chopping Days Are Over: Not to sound like a cheesy infomercial, but aren’t you sick of chopping a million veggies to make dinner? Let the Vitamix do the work for you. Throw everything in that you want to chop, and boom! You’ve got chopped veggies ready to sauté. (Photo via Tommy Nichols, Raw Blend)
3. Eat a Day’s Worth of Fruits + Veggies: It’s really hard to pack in all the vital nutrients that your body needs by just eating whole foods. You’d be chewing all day long! Solution? Blend them up, baby! You’ll get all the amazing vitamins and minerals, plus keep the fiber that juicing leaves out. (Photo via SkinnyMs.)
4. Fall in Love With Super Foods: Mushroom powders, maca, cocoa, gogi berries and blue green algae, oh my! Incorporating these super foods into your diet just got easier — just add a few teaspoons to a smoothie to seriously up the flavor and substance. (Photo via Shape.com)
5. Embrace New Recipes: A serious blender will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen with new sauce recipes, spices and dressings. Make your own marinade for next weekend’s barbecue or create a whole new concoction. We’re impressed by this Vitamix cheesecake recipe. (Photo via The Blenderist)
6. Easily Whip Up Party Snacks: Have you ever wanted to blow your guests away with a homemade marinade, dessert, salsa or dressing? This is your chance to shine in the kitchen. (Photo via Knead to Cook)
7. Trick Friends With Healthy Swaps: Bringing a treat to work to celebrate a coworker’s birthday? The avocado in here can be our little secret. (Photo via SavorHomeBlog)
8. Make Fancy Lunches: Going out for lunch is easy, but the calories and cost can really add up. Owning a serious blender can help you make salads, dressings and tasty wrap ingredients easily, so you’ll have them ready to eat all week long. (Photo via Kimberly Snyder)
9. Take Yourself on a Vacation Any Time: Get ready to explore some amazing cocktail creations with your blender. Want the best margarita of all time? Drop whole fruit, like pineapple, coconut, kiwi, grapefruit or oranges, with a little ice, lime and tequila, and you’ll feel like you’re on a tropical beach. (Photo via Vitamix)
10. Hide Bitter, Healthy Greens: If you can’t stand the taste or texture of greens, slip them into your smoothie to mask the bitter flavors and make even the pickiest of eaters swoon. (Photo via Taste of Divine)
11. Save Money: Blending allows you to keep the fiber in foods intact, lessens cleaning time and allows you to save a ton of money because you need about half the produce to blend when compared to juicing. If you find yourself constantly buying green juice, try a Vitamix — the adjustments on it will allow you to get to a super smooth texture that’s almost identical to juice. (Photo via RachelCooks)
Do you own a Vitamix? Tell us what you love about it in the comments below!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com